When I open the refrigerator at the end of the week, my mood can turn sweet or sour. Either I get a feeling of immense pleasure and satisfaction when I see that I have used up almost all of the food I bought the previous weekend, or I feel disappointed with myself when I toss a head of broccoli that has turned brown into the compost bin or throw out salsa that grew mold before we finished it.
Here’s how I try to keep my mood – and food – from souring. Each weekend I:
I talk to people all the time who are disgusted by the amount of food they throw out each week and feel angst about the money that quickly adds up on each trip to the grocery store.
Studies show that in the US, we waste from 25 – 40% of the food that is produced, packaged, shipped, and purchased. Food waste costs the average American family $1,365 – $2,275 each year! That’s enough money to take a vacation or beef up our kids’ college funds. The effect of all of this waste on our climate is staggering – both in terms of water wasted to produce the food and carbon dioxide emissions from transporting and disposing of food.
What if we look at using up the food we buy and only buying what we need not only as a way to save money and protect the planet, but also as a practical opportunity to teach our kids flexibility, problem solving, and delayed gratification?
5 Ways to Reduce Food Waste
What can you do this week to reduce your family’s food waste? Please make a commitment and share your ideas below.
Aviva Goldfarb struggled like many busy moms to put a nutritious dinner on the table for her family amidst the chaos of daily life. That led to her founding The Six O’Clock Scramble, an online dinner planning solution for busy parents. She is a Today Show and Washington Post contributor, author of the acclaimed Six O’Clock Scramble cookbooks, and frequently appears in major national media such as The Katie Couric Show, Real Simple, and Prevention magazine.
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November: reducing food waste tips
September: What's so special about organic food?
August: helping island neighbors in need with Community Groceries